Geothermal Shown to Outperform VRF

12/17/2014 |

Tests show geothermal could cut costs up to 44%

Geothermal energy

As the debate over the energy efficiency of heating and cooling systems continues, new research shows that geothermal heat pumps may be the most efficient choice. Conducting experiments at the ASHRAE International Headquarters in Atlanta, the Geothermal Exchange Organization worked with a research team from Oklahoma State University and Oak Ridge National Laboratory to assess the relative performance of GHP and VRF systems within the commercial building.

The research was conducted by placing a variable refrigerant flow system on the building’s first floor and a geothermal heat pump system on the second floor. Collecting data from 1,600 sensors placed throughout the renovation project, the researchers found that though the raw data indicated that the VRF system used twice as much energy as geothermal, when differences in heating and cooling loads were normalized, the GHP system averaged 44% less energy use than VRF.

“Though the control strategy for the VRF system resulted in longer runtimes compared to the geothermal system, it is clear that the ground loop water supply temperatures were more favorable than ambient air temperatures for heat pump operation. This allows the geothermal equipment to operate at higher efficiencies,” says Jeff Spitler, regents professor of mechanical engineering at Oklahoma State University and one of the researchers on the project. 

Wondering if geothermal could be the right choice for your facility? Learn more about how Geothermal Could Drill Clean Energy for your building.

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See how professionals like you are taking advantage of the highest performing precision cooling system for their computer rooms and data centers, and why Data Aire is fast-becoming the number one choice for facility managers and building owners looking to decrease their energy consumption. 

Data Aire understands how digital technology and data gravity is rapidly impacting and transforming businesses. That’s why they developed ultra-efficient cooling technology to support the most modern (and not-so-modern) data centers.  Learn how One Wilshire in Los Angeles, one of the most advanced carrier hotels today, is surpassing California's strict energy efficiency requirements with Data Aire’s purpose-built system, which provide full-economization for 260 days – almost 72% of the year. That’s a measurable savings! Furthermore, the projected PUE on an annual basis for a full load is at or below 1.2.


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